Thursday, January 18, 2018

More U.K. Obscurities On U.S. Labels: The Untamed

THE UNTAMED-It's Not True/Gimme Gimme Some Shade US Planet 45-117 1966

Brighton, England's mod/r&b stalwarts The Untamed were led by lead singer/guitarist Lindsay Muir.  They had multiple personnel and label changes by the time they joined producer Shel Talmy's fledgling Planet label in late 1965. The band's debut was on Decca ("So Long/Just Wait", F 12045 December 1964), but it was not until their one off 45 for Parlophone ("Once Upon A Time/I'm Asking You", Parlophone R 5258 March 1965) that the band came into producer Shel Talmy's orbit. He moved with them for their next 45 on Stateside ("I'll Go Crazy/My Baby Is Gone", SS 431 June 1965) and stayed on for their brief recording career. With three releases on three different labels that failed to garner notice (all Lindsay Muir compositions save the James Brown cover on Stateside) Talmy brought them in on his newly formed Planet label with their next release being one of the three singles chosen to simultaneously launch the label. With Muir's material not providing the band with a hit Talmy chose "It's Not True", a track from the recently completed debut Who LP "My Generation" that he also produced to be their next single.

Released in England as Planet PLF 103 in December 1965 it was strangely not released in the United States until October 1966, by which point the Planet label was a mere two months away from folding. Untamed personnel at the time of the single's recording were Muir (lead vocals/lead guitar), Brian Breeze (rhythm guitar), Wes (bass, full name unknown!), Alan Moss (organ) and Keith Hodge (drums). The track was cut at IBC studios in November 1965 . Produced by Talmy it was engineered by Glyn Johns and aided by Talmy's favorite session man Nicky Hopkins on piano.

The Untamed line-up at the time of "It's Not True", Lindsay Muir center

"It's Not True" is slightly faster than The Who original, with Hopkin's piano far more prominent in the mix and distinct double tracking on the main chorus. It's a decent cut but one wonders why Talmy had the Untamed record an already issued Who cut when Pete Townshend no doubt had a slew on unrecorded tracks to offer. This may have been due to the fact that the Who's fractious relationship with the producer was drawing to and end.  It gets nice a rough during the bridge, in fact rawer than the original and Hopkin's piano trills adding to the pop art mayhem! The flip, "Gimme Gimme Some Shade", a Muir original,  is a far stronger track but not punchy enough to have been a A-side.

Both sides are available on RPM's Untamed CD "Gimme Gimme: Singles And Unreleased Rarities 1965-1996" and will no doubt be included in the Ace records Untamed anthology already in the works as we type (and including the band's debut Decca 45 left off of "Gimme Gimme", mastered from yours truly's copy). "It's Not True" was also comped on RPM's Planet records CD collection "The Best Of Planet Records" and on their more recent 3 CD collection "Looking Back".

Hear "It's Not True" and "Gimme Gimme Some Shade":

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